Monday, September 12, 2016


I'm very excited to share this guest post with you today!

Before we dive in, just wanted to give you all a quick heads up about a giveaway for GIRL OF MINE on these two fabulous blogs:
(TWO chances to win! Good luck!)



And now on to our guest post . . .

How to Make the Most Out of Your Local Bookstore

When Amazon arrived on the scene, book giants like Books-A-Million and Barnes and Noble and little indie bookstores on the block breathed a breath of utter terror—at least that’s how I imagine it.

How could they not when books were being sold online, delivered next day and at a fraction of the cost? Brick-and-mortar bookstores had to rethink the old business model, and it meant a lot of rearranging, but to me that just made them better for customers and indie writers on the rise.

So if you’re like me and still love visiting your local bookstore, check out these five ways to make the most out of your trips there.

1.     Go for the bookstore “feel.”

Authenticity is the reason people head to a locally owned bookstore, and it’s certainly a big factor for me. I want to go into a store and browse, sit and read a first chapter or two. I want to get comfy in a book nook, maybe snuggle with the store cat or ask for advice about how to find the book that’s best for me. It’s why I go to the bookstore: I get an authentic experience.

In my town, there are local writers and readers who grab the window seats at the best local book spot and perch all day as if they were their offices. Bringing laptops and mugs of coffee, they borrow the local WiFi and live a life straight out of Nora Ephron’s imagination. Most of them are ghostwriters and content writers, but occasionally I’ll find a Nook reader who’s downloading or reading PDFs and just trying to take part in that authenticity. No one seems to mind; it’s just all part of the experience.    

2.      Chat with people about books.

Even if I plan on buying an e-book, I like to go in and chat with people about books, people who like books, who live for books. I don’t want to know the spoilers, but I do want to know if a book is right for me, and you don’t get that unless you talk to people.  

So go in and talk about the books you love, the books that changed your life. Strike up a conversation with others who are browsing. Talk to the employees. The staff is likely to remember you, maybe stockpile options for your next visit or even let you in on exclusive events or deals. It’s about making a friend, and a friend who knows a lot about books is never a bad thing.

What’s even better is if you’re an aspiring writer, the connections you make with the local community can be a big step in your literary career. Just think: you could host future book signings and events at the store with familiar faces.

3.      Find the handpicked content.

If the store features a spotlight table, you’re going to want to get all over it. It’s not something the bookstore does just for fun; it’s to help book lovers find great new content. It might be a local book group that’s got really great taste and rearranges the table weekly, or maybe it features famous authors from your town or state. Plus, if you don’t like anything that’s highlighted for shoppers, just do what I already encouraged: ask the bookshop workers! 

4.      Shop for meaningful gifts.

I think books are one of the best things to give a person: birthday, Christmas, housewarming, what have you. I’m always handing over tomes I hope will help someone later in life. While it’s one thing to give a gift card to Barnes and Noble, I think it’s a completely different thing to take the leap and give a personal gift.

You can go to Google or Goodreads all you want and read reviews to decide whether someone might like a book, but your details and your connection, plus a bookstore staff’s knowledge, is going to be more tailored, more personal and a better fit for everyone involved.

5.      Connect with the store owner.

A person doesn’t open a bookstore to make a lot of money, and I think that was true even before book sales started moving online. It’s just not a cutthroat business at that level; it’s a personal one. Store owners love books and know a lot about them. So if you wander in with a nagging memory of picking up a book with a boar on the cover and only one word of the title, they’re there to help. 

For book lovers, there is no dumb question about which book you should move onto after you finish Harry Potter (even if you’re thirty-something like me). Ask them for an obscure title, have them make a special order—that’s the beauty of the local bookstore, and that’s why you’ll keep coming back.

From books to friends to experiences, getting the best at your bookstore is all about relishing what they can do outside of just getting a book into your hands. Ask about your favorite genre or what’s the latest in local authors. Bookstore owners and staff live for these opportunities, and you’ll learn to live for them too.

Cassie @ Culture Coverage's profile photo

About the author: 
Cassie Phillips is an entertainment blogger and bookworm. When she’s not hanging out at her local coffee shop, she’s investigating the bookshelves at her favorite bookstore, searching for her next great read. Check out her other work at Culture Coverage and Secure Thoughts.  

Thank you, Cassie, for sharing your thoughts about local bookstores. I appreciate you taking the time to write a guest post for my blog. I'm sure my followers appreciate it too!


  1. I want to be a bookstore owner in a bookstore close to the beach! So here is what I've been up to lately....My weekend...Friday Kyle smashed his toe with a a hole poked in it to release pressure. Saturday...Molly's stomach bothered her all day...figured it was a muscle strain. Sunday it was still really hurting so we were off to ER again...APPENDICITIS! So she had surgery! UGH! I am so exhausted! I love your guest post. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh my gosh, Christy! I'm so sorry. What a weekend. I understand why you are exhausted. Hope both Kyle and Molly recover quickly. Take care of you too.

      And a bookstore by the beach sounds wonderful! I think there will always be people who love a hard copy of a book.

  2. Bookstores are fun. Love the tips in this post. Thanks Cassie and Tayor.

    1. There is something magical about bookstores . . . all those stories just waiting to be read. They even have a certain smell. I always feel happy in a bookstore. Thanks for stopping by, Charissa.

  3. Great post. Thanks ladies. I love the book store, but it scares me. I can't seem to control myself and walk out with stacks of books I have no where to put...SO, since I have started blogging I rarely visit them. I already have so many books I will never read them all, but I want to. The that is somewhere I will visit because I can get some of the latest, greatest that I can't get otherwise. I think Amazon will take over the world. LOL
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. Haha! I think Amazon has already taken over the world!!! I buy all kinds of stuff through Amazon Prime and it gets here in two days and saves me a trip to the store. I love it, though. They have also made it possible for indie authors to have a platform and that has been wonderful! I know what you mean about book stores, though. One trip to the book store can be a very expensive trip. Libraries have saved me as well!